Sunday, December 03, 2006

Futurist: To fix education, think Web 2.0

Had to write this so I can remember it...
"Rather than treat pedagogy as the transfer of knowledge from teachers who are experts to students who are receptacles, educators should consider more hands-on and informal types of learning. These methods are closer to an apprenticeship, a farther-reaching, more multi layered approach than traditional formal education, he said." John Seely Brown spoke at a conference on technology and education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The conference was organized to mark the end next year of an eight-year partnership between Microsoft and MIT to explore the use of technology in learning.

Will Richardson agrees with Brown and calls online communities of learners that are passionate about specific topics like Linux, or any of the gazillion forums and blogs can attest. I experienced this passion based learning as I researched which smartphone to buy, and trying to learn how to install some distro of Linux on an older desktop that is running Windows ME. My mother checks her email, chats with her grandchildren, and writes letters to her sister then prints it out and mails it to her. She does not need a new Dell desktop, running Vista with a surround sound to do this. Yet with all the passioniate participants, the only thing I got out of looking for Linux was more confused. Ok, I download 5 CDs as ISOs, burn them, follow 10 sets to install and then hope like heck that the HP printer will print, and the CRT monitor with work, and her mouse will work. If not, then use a rescue disc or throw it out the window. I think Microsoft would love my wasted time online this weekend trying to learn from passioniate Linux users if my mom's XL768 HP Pavilion needs to be dumped or if Linux can give it a few more months of service.

After listening to Kevin Rose tell about his "good inside source" that Apple will be more than likely introduce the infamous iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007. I think I have heard the same thing now for at least three years. Steve Job-- hey if you read this, I was going to buy a new Treo 700wx. The salesman at the local Alltel store let me know that they had one with my name on it, but had not gotten the pricing information. I know the Alltel folks will be cussing you Steve, because just a rumor is keeping me from springing for the new phone. My old phone does everything I want it to do. It rings everytime I am in a boring teachers meeting, when my wife wants me to run by or favorite sub shop and pick up supper on my way home from the gym, she can get me, also, when my daughter has a flat tire 50 miles away, she still and reach me. So, why would I really need EvDO, web enabled, bluetooth, Windows sync, and a built-in crappy quality camera? Just because I can. Smartphones are like having a Mazzarati in that you never can run 200 mph, but it is knowing that you could if you wanted to.

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